For years astrology has been a divisive subject, with people either swearing by their faith in the stars or vehemently rejecting anything related to the topic. There’s even dissent within the astrological community, with some believing it’s possible to be born on the cusp of two signs, and others following a strict interpretation of the 360-degree astrological wheel.
Regardless of your specific beliefs surrounding astrology, you probably know what your sun sign is. This is the sign that’s based on the month and date of your birth, and what you most likely use to read your horoscope. But many people feel as if they don’t fully identify with their sun sign. This can cause some to believe that they may be a “cusper,” or someone born during the transition from one sign to another whose personality embodies characteristics of both signs.
While it’s true that where you were born within your sign can affect your personality (for instance, a Taurus born in April may behave similar to an Aries, while those born towards the end of May might display Gemini traits), it doesn’t mean that you are a combination of two signs. The disconnect you feel between your sun sign’s traits and how you behave may actually be coming from the influence of the other planets in your birth chart.
Think of your birth chart as a screenshot of the sky the moment you first entered the world. It tells you exactly where the planets and stars were aligned when you took your very first breath. Using your full birthday and the time and location you were born, you’ll be able to figure out which signs the planets were in at the time of your birth. This is why it’s technically impossible to be two signs at once.
Each planet in our solar system (including Pluto and the moon) was in a specific sign during the time of our birth. Where these planets were located can affect how you might behave in certain areas of your life based on what the planets control. For example, having Mercury, the planet of communication, in Libra may mean that you like exciting conversations and have a tendency to play Devil’s advocate (like a Libra sun sign would).
Moon and rising signs
While looking at the planets can give us deeper information about ourselves, many people just choose to focus on the sun sign, moon sign, and rising sign to get a clear picture. What are moon and rising signs, you ask?
While your sun sign serves as a reflection of your soul, ego, and basic approach to life, your moon sign speaks to your emotional core and how your heart works. As for your rising (also called your ascendant), think of it as a facade you wear, or the version of yourself you’d present when trying to make a good first impression. These three signs are considered to be major influences on your personality, and the way they interact with each other can give you a detailed understanding of yourself and your reactions to certain situations.
For instance, if you’re a Leo sun, people may expect you to want to be the center of attention. But if you have a Capricorn rising, you’re bound to come off as more serious, causing confusion within yourself or amongst others since your sun sign doesn’t match your behavior.
The same can happen with your moon sign. Let’s say you’re a Capricorn sun. Many may expect you to be stoic or reserved with your emotions. But if you have a Pisces moon, you could be extremely emotional under certain circumstances.
Knowing your sun, moon, and rising signs can help you understand why you act the way you do and learn how to become better at dealing with any problems you may have. Knowing the placements of your planets (and when you dive deeper into astrology, your houses, and aspects) can also give you more insight on changes you need to make or things you need to work on. And even if you don’t believe in astrology, you have to admit: reading all about yourself is pretty fun.
If you’d like to know your sun, moon, and rising signs, we recommend using this calculator.